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Old 09-01-2009, 11:39 AM
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Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews Campaign Thread (Special Requests): Sounds Like Music To Our Ears

Welcome To The Kate Daniels Thread




Atlanta would be a nice place to live if it weren’t for the magic…. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for the bizarre killings – and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realises she’s way out of her league – but she wouldn’t have it any other way.


Magic Bites: Chapter 1.....






As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shape shifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic-tug-of war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can't stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…


Magic Burns: Chapter 1....





Drafted to work for the Order of Knight of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that's saying a lot.

But when Kate's werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games – an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament – she and Curran, the Beast Lord, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community


Magic Strikes: Chapter 1...






General
Kate Daniels Discussion




Couples
Kate/Curran



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Old 09-01-2009, 11:42 AM
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Wohoo KD Campaign... I am all in! Add me please
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:43 AM
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Adding you now
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:44 AM
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:48 AM
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Adding you now
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for the add hun

What do we do with the OP? Love that all the covers are already there
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:52 AM
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Good question

Sure we could get our heads together and think of something..
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for adding me Tracey

As to the opening, how about adding short descriptions for each book?
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:56 AM
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Good idea Nad
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by globe2912 (View Post)
Thanks for adding me Tracey

As to the opening, how about adding short descriptions for each book?
Good idea for starters Nad!
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:11 PM
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I'm hunting around for short descriptions
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:22 PM
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I'm hunting around for short descriptions


Maybe we can also include a link to the first chapter of each book?
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:24 PM
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Oh yes , now how do we get them

Updated the OP with the short descriptions...
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:32 PM
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I seem to remember that they are on Ilona's page

Lets check

Magic Bites:
Quote:
Chapter 1

I sat at a table in my shadowy kitchen, staring down a bottle of Boone’s Farm Hard Lemonade, when a magic fluctuation hit. My wards shivered and died, leaving my home stripped of its defenses. The TV flared into life, unnaturally loud in the empty house.
I raised my eyebrow at the bottle and bet it that another urgent bulletin was on.

The bottle lost.

“Urgent bulletin!” Margaret Chang announced. “‘The Attorney General advises all citizens that any attempt at summoning or other activities resulting in the appearance of a being of supernatural power can be hazardous to yourself and to other citizens.”

“No ****,” I told the bottle.

“Local police have been authorized to subdue any such activities with all due force.”

Margaret droned on, while I bit into my sandwich. Who were they kidding? No police force could hope to squash every summoning. It took a qualified wizard to detect a summoning in progress. It required only a half-literate idiot with a twitch of power and a dim idea of how to use it to attempt one. Before you knew it, a three-headed Slavonic god was wreaking havoc in downtown Atlanta, the skies were raining winged snakes, and SWAT was screaming for more ammo. These were unsafe times. But then in safer times, I’d be a woman without a job. The safe tech-world had little use for a magic-touting mercenary like me.

When people had trouble of a magic kind, the kind of trouble that cops couldn’t or wouldn’t handle, they called the Mercenary Guild. If the job happened to fall into my territory, the Guild then called me. I grimaced and rubbed my hip. It still ached after the last job, but the wound had healed better than I expected. That was the first and last time I would agree to go against the Impala Worm without full body armor. The next time they better furnish me with a level four containment suit.

An icy wave of fear and revulsion hit me. My stomach lurched, sending acid to coat the root of my tongue with a bitter aftertaste. Shivers ran along my spine, and the tiny hairs on my neck stood on their ends.

Something bad was in my house.

I put down my sandwich and pushed the volume button of the remote control, reducing the TV to a low hum. On the screen Margaret Chang was joined by a brick-faced man with a high-and-tight haircut and eyes like slate. A cop. Probably Paranormal Activity Division. I put my hand on the dagger that rested on my lap and sat very still.

Listening. Waiting.

No sound troubled the silence. A drop of water formed on the sweaty surface of the Boone’s Farm bottle and slid down its glistening side.

Something large crawled along the hallway ceiling into the kitchen. I pretended not to see it. It stopped to the left of me and slightly behind, so I didn’t have to pretend very hard.

The intruder hesitated, turned, and anchored itself in the corner, where the ceiling met the wall. It sat there, fastened to the paneling by enormous yellow talons, still and silent like a gargoyle in full sunlight. I took a swig from the bottle and set it so I could see the creature’s reflection. Nude and hairless, it didn’t carry a single ounce of fat on its skeletal frame and every dry, hard cord of muscle was clearly visible beneath its taut pallid hide.

Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.

The creature raised its left hand. The dagger talons diced the empty air, back and forth, like curved knitting needles. It turned its head doglike and studied me with eyes luminescent with a particular kind of madness, born of bestial blood thirst and free of any thought or restraint.

In a single motion I whipped around and hurled the dagger. The black blade sliced cleanly into the creature’s throat.

The vampire froze. Its yellow claws stopped moving.

Thick, almost purplish blood swelled around the blade and slowly slid down the naked flesh of the vampire’s neck, staining its chest and dripping on the floor. The vampire’s features twisted, trying to morph into a different face. It opened its maw, displaying twin fangs that glistened with yellow like miniature ivory sickles.

“That was extremely inconsiderate, Kate,” Ghastek’s voice said from the vampire’s throat. “Now I have to feed him.”

“It’s a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really.”

The vampire’s face jerked as if the Master of the Dead controlling it tried to squint.

“What are you drinking?” Ghastek asked.

“Boone’s Farm.”

“You can afford better.”

“I don’t want better. I like Boone’s Farm. And I prefer to do business by phone and with you, not at all.”

“I don’t wish to hire you, Kate. This is merely… a social call.”

I stared at the vampire, wishing I could put my knife into Ghastek’s throat. It would feel very good cutting into his flesh. Unfortunately he sat in an armored room many miles away.

“You enjoy screwing with me, don’t you, Ghastek?”

“Immensely.”

The million-dollar question was why. “What is it you want? Make it quick, my Boone’s Farm’s getting warm.”

“I was just wondering,” Ghastek said with dry neutrality particular only to him, “when was the last time you saw your guardian?”

The nonchalance in his voice sent tiny cold shivers down my spine. “Why?”

“No reason. As always, a pleasure.”

In a single powerful leap the vampire detached itself from the wall and flew through the open window, taking my knife with it.
Magic Burns:
Quote:
Chapter 1

The phone rang in the middle of the night. The magic wave was in full swing, and the phone shouldn’t have worked, but it rang anyway, again and again, outraged over being ignored, until finally I reached over and picked it up.

“Yehmmm?”

“Rise and shine, Kate.” The smooth cultured voice on the line suggested a slender, elegant, handsome man, all things that Jim was not. At least not in his human shape.

I clawed my eyes open long enough to glance at the wind-up clock across the room. “Two in the morning. Some of us sleep during the night.”

“I’ve got a gig,” Jim said.

I sat up in the bed, wide awake. A gig was good – I needed the money. “Half.”

“Third.”

“Half.”

“Thirty five percent.” Jim’s voice hardened.

“Half.”

The phone went silent as my former Guild partner mulled it over. “Okay, forty.”

I hung up. The bedroom lay quiet. My curtains were open and moonlight sifted into the room through the metal grate shielding the window. The moonlight acted as a catalyst and the metal bars glowed with weak bluish patina where the silver in the alloy interacted with the ward spell. Beyond the bars, the city slept like some hulking beast of legend, dark and deceptively peaceful. When the magic wave ended, as it inevitably would, the beast would awaken in an explosion of electric light and possibly gunfire.

My ward wouldn’t stop a bullet, but it kept the magic hazmat out of my bedroom, and that was good enough.

The phone rang. I let it ring twice before I picked it up.

“Fine.” Jim’s voice had a hint of a snarl in it. “Half.”

“Where are you?”

“In the parking lot under your window, Kate.”

Calling from a pay phone, which shouldn’t have worked either. I reached for my clothes, left by the bed for just such an occasion. “What’s the gig?”

“Some arsonist wacko.”

#

A fireball blossomed in the pitch-black depth of the underground garage. Huge, churning with violent red and yellow, it roared toward me. I jumped behind the concrete support, my throwing knife sweaty in my hands. Heat bathed me. For a moment I couldn’t breathe and then the fire hurtled past me to burst in an explosion of sparks against the wall.

A thin gleeful cackle emanated from the garage depths. I leaned and peeked from behind the support in the direction of the sound. Nothing but darkness. Where was the tech shift when you needed one?

Across from me at the next row of supports Jim raised his hand and touched his fingers to his thumb a few times, imitating an opening and closing beak. Negotiate. He wanted me to engage a lunatic who already turned four people into smoking meat. Okay. I could do that.

“Alright, Jeremy!” I yelled into the night. “Give me the salamander and I won’t cut your head off!”

Jim put his hand over his face and did some shaking. I thought he was laughing, but I couldn’t be sure. Unlike him I didn’t have the benefit of enhanced night vision.

Jeremy’s cackle reached a hysterical crescendo. “Stupid bitch!”

Jim peeled himself from the support and melted into darkness, tracking Jeremy’s voice. His vision worked better than mine in low light, but not in absolute darkness. He had to hunt by sound, which meant I had to keep Jeremy taking. While Jim stalked Jeremy’s melodious voice, Jeremy, in turn, stalked me.

Nothing to worry about, just a homicidal pyromaniac armed with a salamander in a sphere of enchanted glass and intent on setting what’s left of Atlanta on fire. The main thing was to keep the salamander’s sphere safe. If that thing broke, my name would be more famous than Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.

“Damn Jeremy, you need to work on your vocabulary. So many good words to call me and the best you could come up with is bitch? Give me the salamander before you hurt yourself.”

“Suck my dick… Whore!”

A tiny spark flared into existence to the left of me. It hung suspended in the darkness, illuminating the scaly outline of the salamander’s mouth and Jeremy’s hands clutching the glass sphere with white-knuckled need. The enchanted glass parted and belched the spark. The air hit the tiny packet of energy and the spark exploded into a fireball.

I ducked behind the support just as the fire smashed against concrete. Flames shot past on both sides of me. The acrid stench of sulfur stung my nostrils.

“That last fireball missed me by a mile. You shoot blanks with your other salamander too, Jeremy?”

“Eat **** and die!”

Jim had to be close to him by now. I stepped into the open. “Come on, you sniveling **** for brains! Can’t you do anything right?”

I saw flames, lunged to the side and hit the floor rolling. Above me the fire howled like an enraged animal. The handle of the knife burned my fingers. The air in my lungs turned to heat, my eyes watered, I pressed my face into the dusty concrete, praying it didn’t get any hotter, and then suddenly it was over.

Screw this. I jumped to my feet and charged in Jeremy’s direction. The salamander flared within the sphere. I caught a flash of Jeremy’s crooked smile above the glass. It wilted as Jim’s dark hands closed about Jeremy’s throat. The arsonist slumped, ragdoll-limp, the sphere rolled from his weakened fingers…

I dived for it, caught it three inches above the cement, and found myself face to face with the salamander. Ruby-red eyes regarded me with mild curiosity, black lips parted, and a long, spiderweb-thin filament of a tongue slithered from the salamander’s mouth and kissed the sphere’s glass in the reflection of my nose. Hi, I love you too.

Gingerly I got to my knees and then to my feet. The salamander’s presence tugged on my mind, eager to please and be appreciated like an overly enthusiastic kitten arching her back for a stroke. Visions of flames and heat wavered before me. Let’s burn something… I slammed my mental shutters closed, locking her out of my mind. Let’s not.

Jim relaxed his hold on Jeremy and the arsonist sagged to the ground like a wet blanket. The whites of his eyes stared at ceiling from a slack face, caught by death in a moment of utter surprise. No pulse check needed for this one. ****. There goes the capture bonus.

“You said it was a live-preferred bounty,” I murmured. The living Jeremy was worth a lot more than his corpse. We’d still get paid, but we just waved a third of the money goodbye.

“It is.” Jim twisted the body on its side, exposing Jeremy’s back. A thin metal shaft, tipped with three black fathers protruded from between Jeremy’s shoulders blades. Before my mind had the time to digest its significance, I hit the deck, cradling the salamander. Jim somehow got there before me.

We stared into the gloom. Darkness and silence.

Someone took out our mark with a crossbow bolt. Could have taken us out as well. We had stood by the body for at least four seconds. More than enough time to squeeze off two shots. I touched Jim and touched my nose. He shook his head. With all the sulfur in the air he probably couldn’t smell a skunk if it sprayed him in the face. I lay very still and tried to breathe quietly. Listening was our best bet.

A minute dragged by, long, viscous, and silent. Very slowly Jim shifted into a crouch and nodded to the left. I had a vague feeling the door lay to the right, but in the darkness with some unknown crossbowman waiting, I would trust Jim’s senses over mine.

Jim grasped Jeremy’s corpse, slung it over his shoulder, and we took off, bending low, running fast, him ahead and me, half-blind in the gloom, slightly behind. Concrete supports flashed by, one, two, three, four. The tech hit, and before I could put down my raised foot, the magic drained from the world, leaving the battered technology in its wake. The fluorescent lamps in the ceiling blinked and snapped into life with a buzz, bathing the garage in a weak man-made glow. The black rectangle of the exit gaped ten feet before us. Jim dove into it. I lunged to the left, behind a concrete support. The salamander in the globe stopped glowing and went to sleep, looking like a harmless black lizard. My long range weapon was tuckered out.

I set it down on the floor and slid Slayer from its sheath. Salamanders are overrated anyway.

“He’s gone,” Jim said from the doorway and pointed behind me.

I turned. Far at the back wall the concrete wall had crumbled, revealing a narrow passageway probably leading up to the street. He was right. If the bowman wanted to take us out, he had plenty of time to do it.

“So he sniped our mark and left?”

“Looks that way.”

“I don’t get it.”

Jim shook his head. “Weird **** always happens around you.”

“This was your gig, not mine.”

A shower of sparks broke from above the door and a green EXIT sign burst into life.

Jim stared at it for a moment, his features twisted in a distinctly feline expression, disgust and fatalism rolled into one and shook his head again.

“Dibs on the bolt in his back!” I called.

“Be my guest.”

Jim’s pager went off. He checked it and a familiar neutral mask slid onto his face.

“Oh no, you don’t! I can’t carry him by myself.”

“Pack business.” He headed for the exit.

“Jim!”

I killed the urge to throw something at the empty doorway. Served me right for taking a job with a guy who served on the Pack’s Council. It’s not that Jim was a bad friend. It’s just that for shapeshifters, on a scale from one to ten, Pack was eleven and everything else a one. Pack business always took precedence.

I stared at a very dead Jeremy laying like a sack of potatoes on the floor. Probably a hundred and fifty pounds, dead weight. There was no way I could carry him and the salamander at the same time. There was no way I could leave the salamander unattended either. Magic could hit any time, setting the little lizard ablaze. Plus, the sniper might be still around. I needed to get out of here and fast.

Jeremy and the salamander, each worth four grand. I no longer did a lot of work for the Guild, and gigs of this size didn’t come my way too often. Even split in a half with Jim, the bounty would cover my two mortgages for two months. The thought of leaving four grand on the floor made me physically ill.

I looked at Jeremy. I looked at the salamander. Choices, choices.
Magic Strikes:
Quote:
Chapter 1

Some days my job was harder than others.

I tapped the ladder with my hand. “See? It’s very sturdy, Mrs. McSweeney. You can come down now.”

Mrs. McSweeney looked at me from the top of the telephone pole, having obvious doubts about the ladder’s and my reliability. Thin, bird-boned, she had to be past seventy. The wind stirred the nimbus of fine white hair around her head and blew open her nightgown, presenting me with sights better left unseen.

“Mrs. McSweeney, I wish you would come down.”

She arched her back and sucked in a deep breath. Not again. I sat on the ground and clamped my hands over my ears.

The wail cut through the stillness of the night, sharp like a knife. It hammered the windows of the apartment buildings, wringing a high-pitched hum from the glass. Down the street dogs yowled as one, matching the cry with unnatural harmony. The lament built, swelling like an avalanche, until I could hear nothing but its complex, layered chorus: the lonely howl of a wolf, the forlorn shriek of a bird, the heart-wrenching cry of child. She wailed and wailed, as if her heart was being torn out of her chest, filling me with despair.

The magic crashed. One moment it filled the world, giving potency to Mrs. McSweeney’s cry, and the next it vanished from the world without warning, gone like a line drawn in the sand just before the surf licked it. The technology reasserted itself. The blue fey lantern hanging from the top of the pole went dark, as the magic charged air lost its potency. Electric lights came on in the apartment building.

It was called post-Shift resonance: magic drowned the world in a wave, snuffing out anything complex and technological, smothering car engines, jamming automatic weapons, and eroding tall buildings. Mages fired ice bolts, skyscrapers fell, and wards flared into life, keeping undesirables from my house. And then, just like that, the magic would vanish, leaving monsters in its wake. Nobody could predict when it would reappear and nobody could prevent it. All we could do was cope with an insane tarantella of magic and technology. That’s why I carried a sword. It always worked.

The last echoes of the cry bounced from the brick walls and died.

Mrs. McSweeney stared at me with sad eyes. I picked myself off the ground and waved at her. “I’ll be right back.”

I trotted into the dark entrance to the apartment, where five members of the McSweeney family crouched in the gloom. “Tell me again why you can’t come out and help me?”

Robert McSweeney, a middle-aged, dark-eyed man with thinning brown hair, shook his head. “Mom thinks we don’t know she’s a banshee. Look, Ms. Daniels, can you get her down or not? You’re the knight of the Order, for Christ’s sake.”

First, I wasn’t a knight; I just worked for the Order of Merciful Aid. Second, negotiation wasn’t my forte. I killed things. Quickly and with much bloodshed. Getting elderly banshees in denial off of telephone poles wasn’t something I did often.

“Can you think of anything that might help me?”

Robert’s wife Melinda sighed. “I don’t… I mean she always kept it so under wraps. We’ve heard her wail before but she was so discreet about it. This isn’t normal for her.”

An elderly black woman in a mumu descended the staircase. “Has that girl gotten Margie down yet?”

“I’m working on it,” I told her.

“You tell her, she better not miss our bingo tomorrow night.”

“Thanks.”

I headed to the pole. Part of me sympathized with Mrs. McSweeney. The three law enforcement agencies that regulated life in US post-Shift, the Military Supernatural Defense Unit or MSDU, the Paranormal Activity Division, PAD, and my illustrious employer, the Order of Merciful Aid, all certified banshees as harmless. Nobody has yet been able to link their wails to any deaths or natural disasters. But folklore blamed banshees for all sorts of nefarious things. They were rumored to drive people mad with their scream and kill children with a mere look. Plenty of people would be nervous about living next to a banshee and I could understand why Mrs. McSweeney went to great length to hide who she was. She didn’t want her friends to shun her or her family.

Unfortunately, no matter how well you hide, sooner or later your big secret will bite you in the behind, and you might find yourself standing on a telephone pole, not sure why or how you had gotten there, while the neighborhood pretends not to hear your piercing screeches.

Yeah. I was the one to talk. When it came to hiding one’s identity, I was an expert. I burned my bloody bandages, so nobody could identify me by magic in my blood. I hid my power. I tried very hard not to make friends and mostly succeeded. Because when my secret came to life, I wouldn’t end up on top of the pole. I would be dead and all my friends would be dead with me.

I approached the pole and looked at Mrs. McSweeney. “Alright. I’m going to count to three and then you have to come down.”

She shook her head.

“Mrs. McSweeney! You’re making a spectacle out of yourself. Your family is worried about you and you have bingo tomorrow night. You don’t want to miss it, do you?”

She bit her lip.

“We will do it together.” I climbed three steps up the ladder. “On three. One, two, three, step!”

I took a step down and watched her do the same. Thank you, whoever you are upstairs.

“One more. One, two, three, step.”

We took another step, and then she took one by herself. I jumped to the ground. “That’s it.”

Mrs. McSweeney paused. Oh no.

She looked at me with her sad eyes and asked, “You won’t tell anyone, will you?”

I glanced at the windows of the apartment building. She had wailed loud enough to wake the dead and make them call the cops. But in this day and age, people banded together. One couldn’t rely on tech or on magic, only on your family and neighbors. They were willing to keep her secret, no matter how absurd it seemed, and so was I.

“I won’t tell anyone,” I promised.

Two minutes later she was heading to her apartment, and I was wrestling with the ladder, trying to make it fit into the space under the stairs, from which the super had gotten it for me.

My day had started at five with a frantic man running through the hallway of the Atlanta Chapter of the Order of Merciful Aid and screaming that a dragon with a cat head had gotten into New Hope School and would devour the children. The dragon turned out to be a small tatzelwyrm, which I unfortunately, was unable to subdue without cutting its head off. That was the first time I got sprayed with blood today.

Then I had to help Mauro get a two-headed fresh water serpent out of an artificial pond at the ruins of One Atlantic Center in Buckhead. It took me and the huge Samoan knight almost an hour, and by the end of the ordeal we were both swearing like a couple of sailors on shore leave, who got kicked out of the bar midway through the ladies night.

The day went downhill from there. It was past midnight now. I was dirty, tired, hungry, smeared with four different types of blood, and I wanted to go home. Also my boots stank because the serpent had vomited a half-eaten cat corpse on my feet.

I finally managed to stuff the ladder in its place and left the apartment building for the parking lot, where my female mule Marigold was tied to a metal rack set up there for precisely that purpose. I had gotten within ten feet of her when I saw a half-finished swastika drawn on her rump in green paint. The paint stick lay broken on the ground. There was also some blood and what looked like a tooth. I looked closer. Yep, definitely a tooth.

“Had an adventure, did we?”

Marigold didn’t say anything, but I knew from experience that approaching her from behind was Not a Good Idea. She kicked like a mule, probably because she was one.

If not for the Order’s brand on her other butt cheek, Marigold might have been stolen tonight. Fortunately, the knights of the Order had a nasty habit of magically tracking the thieves and coming down on them like a ton of bricks.

I untied her, mounted and we braved the night.

Typically technology and magic switched at least once every couple of days, usually more often than that. But two months ago we had been hit with a flare, a wave so potent, it drowned the city like a magic tsunami, making impossible things a reality. For three days demons and gods had walked the streets and human monsters had great difficulty controlling themselves. I had spent the flare on the battlefield, helping a handful of shapeshifters butcher a demonic horde.

It had been an epic occurrence all around. I still had vivid dreams about it, not exactly nightmares, but intoxicating, surreal visions of blood and gleaming blades and death.

The flare had burned out, leaving technology firmly in control of the world. For two months cars started without fail, electricity held the darkness at bay, and air conditioning made Georgia August blissful. We even had TV. On Monday night they had shown a movie, Terminator 2, hammering home the point: it could always be worse.

Then, on Wednesday right around noon, the magic hit. And Atlanta went to hell.

I wasn’t sure if people had deluded themselves into thinking the magic wouldn’t come back or if they had been caught unprepared, but we’ve never had so many calls for help since I had started with the Order. Unlike the Mercenary Guild, for which I also worked, the knights of the Order of Merciful Aid helped anyone and everyone regardless of their ability to pay. They charged only what you could afford and a lot of times nothing at all. We had been flooded with pleas. I managed to catch four hours of sleep on Wednesday night and then it was up and running again. Technically it was Friday now, I was plagued by persistent fantasies of hot shower, food, and soft sheets. I had made an apple pie a couple of days ago and I still had a slice left for tonight.

“Kate?” Maxine’s stern voice echoed through my head, distant but clear.

I didn’t jump. After the marathon of the last forty eight hours hearing the Order’s telepathic secretary in my head seemed perfectly normal. Sad but true.

“I’m sorry, dear, but the pie might have to wait.”

What else is new? Maxine didn’t read thoughts on purpose but if I concentrated on something hard enough, she couldn’t help but catch a hint of it.

“I have a green seven, called in by a civilian.”

Dead shapeshifter. Anything shapeshifter-related was mine. The shapeshifters distrusted the outsiders, and I was the only employee of the Atlanta chapter of the Order who enjoyed Friend of the Pack status. Enjoyed being a relative term. Mostly my status meant that the shapeshifters might let me say a couple of words before deciding to fillet me. They took paranoid to a new level.

“Where is it?”

“Corner of Ponce de Leon and Dead Cat.”

Twenty minutes by mule. Chances were, the Pack knew the death took place already. Ugh. I turned Marigold and headed north. “I’m on it.”
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by globe2912 (View Post)
I seem to remember that they are on Ilona's page

Lets check
They are!

for descriptions!
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